Monday, May 31, 2010
From the point of view of a properly cold-blooded actuary, this may be true, and in many cases, an insurance policy would cover the losses.
OTOH, if we cut the cost of keeping a prisoner by say eliminating his gym membership, his designer clothing, his free law degree complete with free legal tutors, perhaps prisons might look more cost effective. Sheriff Joe in Arizona comes to mind, and his methods and practices need to be documented carefully before he retires.
He notes that the rush to buy guns that took place when O'Bama got elected is still going on, only very slightly abated.
Here's another chart that I put together from the available data provided by the FBI:
Note that the big rush on guns began in 2006 when the Dems took over congress, not in 2008 when they took over everything.
Disclaimers: A NICS check does not automatically indicate a gun sale. Also some states, mine for example, don't use NICS, preferring to keep the monies at home rather than giving it to Washington. A laudable attitude, as long as it's not abused. Not that the government would abuse its power by deciding to de-frag the disk drives or something on the weekend of a big gun show in Colorado Springs, effectively shutting down the gun show.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Anyway the thinking (?) goes that some 32 states have had to take loans from the federal government to cover their unexpected (!) expenses for unemployment payments, so I guess that recovery O'Bama's been telling us about isn't as robust as he'd like us to think.
Item 1: If you take a loan to cover expenses in a tight period, you are not bankrupt. There are a whole bunch of banker-speak words for that sort of thing, with varying degrees of menace attached.
Item 2: If you blow the payment on the loan, then you are, in fact bankrupt, and need to jump through either the chapter 11 or chapter 7 procedures.
Item 3. Hopefully someone in Washington is taking note of this, and warning the president that if large numbers of states can no longer meet their payrolls, the Gulf Oil Spill is going to be the least of his worries.
Having 4 million union thugs ready at the drop of a hint to give money to your friends, and beat up your enemies is all well and good, but if they find their paychecks bouncing, that loyalty will vanish without even the traditional puff of smoke.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Thanks to Tam for the pointer to this article by Mark Steyn, one of the pundits I think rather highly of. I don't think I'd call it a quote of the day, since it is simply a summary of a poll, but knowing that a significant number of our fellow voters think this, goes a long way toward explaining the election results.
According to a Fox News poll earlier this year, 65 per cent of Americans understand that the government gets its money from taxpayers, but 24 per cent think the government has “plenty of its own money without using taxpayer dollars.”This is the sort of thing that should be pounded into the little heads in middle school civics class with the kind of certitude usually reserved for things like the direction in which the sun rises in the morning. It represents nothing less than a fundamental failure of the education system, and makes the case for the Dept of Education to be reduced to a rather modest sized committee to write a set of competence tests for the 4th, 8th, and 12th grades. Failure to get an acceptable score means you get to repeat the previous grade, or don't get your diploma.
Better yet, let's put your final score on your diploma. Think of it as the executive summary of your transcript.
When I am dictator, you will need a "C" or better to be allowed to vote.
This load delivered an average of 1350 fps through my chroney. Nice. Paula the neophyte tried the gun and found to her amazement and approval she was shooting 1 in groups at 25 yards. I didn't try for groups.
A friend brought his kid, a watermelon, and a couple of flats of eggs out to play with. His .45 auto punched neat holes in the melon, eventually causing it to split on the bottom. I loaned him the Hi-Point and it made the melon explode in properly photogenic fashion. Pink debris, 20 foot radius.You'll have to trust me on this, as no one had a camera.
Paula the neo tried the Hi Point on the eggs. She nailed 2 eggs in 3 shots at 25 yards. Believe me what happened to the eggs is good basic material for a special effect on Star Trek when the Klingon ship hits the antimatter space mine. If you try this on your range, put the eggs far apart. The blast radius is about 24-30 inches.
I don't have a vast supply of powder to experiment with, but Hodgdon lists a load involving HS-6 powder using about 40% more powder, that delivers close to the same performance as the Titegroup loads I was using. At a guess, I would say the performance increase in the carbine would be even greater. If someone gives me a few tablespoons full, I'll try it. Barrys does not recommend very high velocities for their plated bullets, but the relatively gentle accelerations in the longer barrel may get around this. Further experimentation is indicated. Oh yes.
Did I mention this little shooter is fun?
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
They also did not announce which side they might be assigned to.
At this point, President Calderon of Mexico enjoys better relations with the administration that the governors of Texas or Arizona.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Teleportation. We're working on it.
The first application will be to move the contents of your wallet to the government treasury.
The second application will be to move the government treasury to a bank account in a really obscure location. I recommend Burning Chrome as a good place to start.
Queries may be addressed to me at an Obscure Location. "Just leave a message, maybe I'll call."
Djou took 40%, and two other Dems split up 60% of the vote. Had either one of the Dems stepped aside, the seat would most likely have remained Democratic. The good news is that the Dems are about $300K poorer for having given away the seat, and Djou will have the advantages of incumbency when he has to defend the seat again this November.
Now we have a coyote, who cruises the hood on Thursday evenings, since trash day is Friday. I suppose he, or she, it's hard to tell, would take the squirrel too, but it's not on his regular day. Also with the arrival of the larger predator, the foxes have departed to parts unknown.
The retired cop across the street says he has a .410 with #4s in it, and if I hear a modest pop, I should pay no attention. Fine with me, he can explain this to the local gendarmes with greater alacrity that I could. Meantime I may have to figure out how to make a coyote trap as effective as the one for the squirrels.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Listen carefully as the whole European fiasco is explained in quiz-show format. Note carefully the advice the contestant is giving to his off-camera colleagues at the end. He seems to be something of a fan of Richard Russel, who is himself a fan of an impending economic apocalypse.
Being an optimist myself, I like the think the economy will mostly survive the current attacks on it, but have committed to memory an easy recipe for grilled duck, which I'm pretty sure would work just fine on the Canadian geese that are currently working industriously to bury Denver in goose poop.
In Greece, the Germans have told the Greek government that they can't have any more German euros to pay for largess to Greek citizens, The Greek government told this to the citizens, and the citizens took to the streets. The details are hazy, but if they stay true to form, the first think to be burned to the ground will be the local MacDonalds.
Over here, the government is taking notes, and doing what it can to make sure the peasants don't figure out who actually caused all their problems. To this end, they put together and manage their own riots, with union rioters, on government buses, with a police escort to riot on a private bankers front lawn. From the governments point of view, this is infinately preferrable to angry peasants with pitchforks and torches outside the capitol building.
When things start going South, the governments first priority is to hold on to power, the alternative being "chaos", to quote most of them over the last 3000 years. The usual procedure is to find a scapegoat to which to transfer the blame. There are 3 levels of approach:
Level 1: Unruly elements undermining the peaceful law and order of the current regime. This is dealt with using the local police.
Level 2: An organized conspiracy of easily identifiable elements who are preventing life from getting better for everyone else, to their own benefit is identified. This is frequently the more successful business elements in a society. The owners are replaced, sometimes violently, and the new owners, the government or cronies of the government, then give the workers a modest raise, from the national treasury, and everyone is happy, briefly.
Level 3: Shoddy foreign goods produced by underpaid foreign labor. This is powerful since it lets the peasants insert their own favorite whipping boy here. This is dealt with by protective tarrifs against the foreign goods, which results in a trade war, which frequently results in a shooting war. Frequently the winner is the side with the least managed economy, and the bozos in the offending government are finally replaced. It's a slow and expensive process.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Distractive, yes. We used the round steel popper, conveniently set up in front of a no-shoot. Let me pass on a bit of advice; if you ever find yourself in a shoot-out, and aren't one of the shooters, standing behind one of the active participants is a really bad idea. At least it certainly was today.
We also came up with a more reasonable way to score the unfortunate circumstance of shooting a no-shoot. Instead of the usual 5 or 10 points off, we establish a scale. If you hit the no-shoot in the "A" zones, you lose one point. A "B" zone hit costs you 3, and a "C" zone hit drops your score 5 points. This is based on the probability of the unlucky bystander of filing a lawsuit after the smoke has cleared, which we figure in inversely proportionate to his metabolism at that point.
The final oddity was that I had a malfunction, and was completely flummoxed by it. On shot 3 of the final stage, the slide failed to go all the way foreword into battery. Working the slide simply brought the next round up into the chamber area behind the first one. The correct action would have been to simply tap the slide foreword to fully engage the stubborn round, but folks, this is the first malfunction I have ever had with this gun, and I was at a loss as to what the correct drill was. Like Dillinger said: "Never trust a D.A.s deal or an automatic pistol."
Thursday, May 20, 2010
I think I could almost go for the insurance requirement if it came with a literacy and civics knowledge requirement for voting.
That and a photo I.D.
If you're going to turn the Bill of Rights into a Bill of Privileges, why settle for half measures?
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
At $50M for 25 MW, they don't give a super detailed breakdown of where the money goes, but telling me it costs 15% less than a conventional nuclear reactor leaves a few flags up in my mind. A large percentage of the cost of installing a conventional reactor is sunk into lawyers fees to deal with the nuisance lawsuits brought by the Greenies.
If I were less than scrupulous, and wanted a nuke plant installed, I'd put the local mob on retainers. Thus, when some Committee for the Preservation of the Spotted Wood Tick sent a lawyer around with papers, I'd simply have Guido and Nunzio pay them a visit with free transportation and complimentary membership to the Greenies Convention, currently being held at the bottom of the deepest nearby body of water. I'd be selling megawatts inside of six months.
One with a modest amount of power would be perfect for those annoying tailgaters, and could bring a stop to their practices before they get to the stage of turning on those red and blue flashers. It could even turn off those flashers, and all the other lights as well.
I want one.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
After a 2-year hiatus, the festival of Blow Up The World is back on the calendar for June 19th from 9AM to 3PM. A combination of picnic, BBQ, and day at the range, it's a family event at which you may well get a chance to get knocked on your butt by a genuine 2-bore. If there is a particular caliber you think would be fun to shoot, if you don't have the gun, just bring the ammo. In most cases, someone will have the gun to shoot it in.
Bring food, water, shade, chairs, eye and ear protection, sun screen, guns, and ammo. Oh yes, and don't forget the ammo.
This event is sponsored by the Wildlife Hunters Association of Colorado and the Denver Mad Scientists Club. If you are not a WHAC member, please RSVP in the comments here.
Edited to add the date and time.
Noting that most of the world is not, at the moment, engaged in a shooting war, I'm wondering if the abdication of the U.S. from its traditional role as world policeman. Or at least World Adult at the Party.
Doublecrossia would worry less about the inclination of Backstabistan to rectify their borders or destabilize their government if they knew that the U.S. would, at least, find such activities Deeply Disappointing*. When the U.S. seems to find foreign policy Deeply Uninteresting, you need to be ready to deal with contingencies yourself, which means stocking up on ammo.
*Diplomatic speak. Means you would probably be well advised not to sleep in the same bed 2 nights running. Can be emphasizes by putting a Tomahawk in one of your known beds.
Why am I not too awfully surprised to note that a location has not yet been named. In fact, only one place has been suggested, Jed has nominated the Milwaukee St. Tavern, which I've never been to. Looks nice though.
Also Zomby's comments won't let me give notice that I'll be there. I get blackballed from the nicest places, but I'll be there anyway, as soon as I find out where it is.
Edit: It's at the Milwaukee St. Tavern. And Zomby's comments work fine.
Lowes sells the pipe, 4 in ABS, pre-cut to a 4 foot length. I'm sure you've got a bucket around the house somewhere.
Fill the bucket with water, and smear some peanut butter about elbow-deep down the inside of the pipe. The bungee cord in the top picture is to keep the rig upright. Check daily. This thing is a black hole for the little rodents.
The low-buck version of this, you buy a pipe cap for the pipe, and glue it on to one end. add about a foot of water to the pipe, and check daily. If you're feeling soft hearted, skip the water in the pipe, and get a spare cap. When you get one, cap the top, and drive him far away.
Speaking of sending them far away,
This rig entices them to crawl up the barrel, which then tilts back, hitting the button that opens the valve, that releases the air compressed in the lower pipe, and inaugurating your very own backyard space program. More details here, and here.
You can, of course, combine the two. Place the gun up against the fence until you get one, charge the thing from your compressor (you do have a compressor, right?), then shoot the squirrel straight up and let the dog catch it on the way down (you do have a dog, right?).
Dogs comment: "Worst tasting duck he ever brought down."
Update: This is a popular post, so here's some additional info. It's now June 8, and I'm getting 5-8 squirrels a week. The problem is what to do with them since trash day is Friday AM and I seem to get one Fri PM almost without fail. Homers Bucket, from Home depot, can be had with a snap-on lid for under $5. Put a kitchen bag in it to collect the bodies, and keep in a shady place. Come trash day, close the bag and out they all go.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
A beautiful work, it seats 2 under the superstructure, and even has 1/20 scale sailors loading the tiny 88s. No word on weather the guns actually shoot, but I know if it was mine they sure would.
I, on the other hand, am working on a 1/20 scale working model of "Fat Man".
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Of course it's also worth noting that the German loan is being backed by the U.S. which currently finds itself awash in money. While the Greeks may get foreclosed on by the Germans, Mrs. Merkel may find she has some new advisers in her cabinet, fresh from Chicago, but unfortunately not from the famous university. Take their advice, and avoid the concrete overshoes at the bottom of the Rhine.
One badly timed and placed bankruptcy, and the Chicago mob winds up owning Europe!
Monday, May 10, 2010
News from that part of the world is no more reliable than news from AP or Reuters around here, but the part about his being quietly held incommunicado has a certain ring of truth. If news got out before he was properly secured in an undisclosed location, preferably in another dimension, there would likely be riotous repercussions in Pakistan.
So put a cold one in the fridge, and wait for video of either his head on a stick, or him walking out of a New York court building, free on a technicality.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
So far this year, fewer U.S. citizens were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined, than in Chicago. In all fairness, U.S. citizens in the middle east wear body armor and carry a rifle when they go out, which helps. One could also note that Baghdad or Kabul probably constitute a rougher neighborhood than even the South side of Chicago. Still...
Last time I looked, D.C. has edged out Chicago and Detroit for the title of "Murder Capitol of the U.S.", so the situation in D.C. is markedly improved, and this with the D.C. council dragging its feet on allowing new gun registrations. Criminals may be making some poor career choices, but they're better at math then the Chicago city council. A 5% chance of doing time in the county lockup may not be much of a deterrent, but a 5% chance of doing time in the county morgue gets their attention.
That means it is up to the Supreme Court to restore to Chicagoans their fundamental right to self-defense. In the pending case of McDonald v. Chicago, a number of residents are asking the high court to apply the reasoning it used to strike down Washington's gun ban. It is worth noting that a year after the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller ruling, Washington's murder rate dropped 25 percent - without resorting to using the National Guard.
Encouraging personal ownership of guns is the only proven solution to Chicago's crime problem.
BTW: If you click to the article, the fellow in the picture is doing what gunnies call a New York Reload, in which an empty weapon is discarded in favor of another one.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
A long time tradition around here, the Kinetics, is coming back after a couple of years of absence. Here's a photomontage with music.
For those of you who have never seen this, it involves teams of crazies and engineering undergrads (but I repeat myself) building a human-powered vehicle to move on land and across water. Points are awarded for style and performance.
Since some of these vehicles get their first shakedown run at the start line, one of my favorite awards is the Titanic trophy for the best sinking at the start line.
Tentative date this year is August 28th, so there's still time to get building your human-powered hovercraft. The venue will be Union Reservoir, in Longmont, just up the road from the old venue.
One of these two babies will provide the motivation at the start. Participants have until I can reload to get out of range, so speed will be at a premium.
Oh snap! I'm told I can't do that.
Never fear, there will be at least an earth-shattering Ka-Boom.
Friday, May 7, 2010
I volunteer to test one.
The name, MicroSight, is in current use with several other makers on several other devices.
They posit the use of 60 passenger buses, and conclude that some 200,000 would be required. To which I say nonsense.
Recently I saw a clip of a police helicopter video tracking an 11 passenger van as it rolled through the suburbs. Eventually it ran a stop sign, side-swiped another car, veered into the ditch, and turned over on its side. In moments the doors popped open, and, by my count, some 25 people climbed out, and ran away. Since they were not wearing fright wigs or large shoes, let's assume they were illegals.
Given this demonstrated ability to pack them selves in, the 60 passenger bus now holds some 135, and the number required drops to 88,000, saving the taxpayer big bucks, but why stop there?
The larger school buses are rated for up to 80 students, which translates into 182 deportees per bus. To move 12 million requires only 65,934. An enterprising person would be able to low-ball his bid, beat out Greyhound, and still make a nice profit.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Americans saw prices rise two percent in the year to March according to the Commerce Department's personal consumption expenditures index published on Monday.Now 2% is a modest inflation rate, but this is the shrinkage in your wallet for one month only. For a projection of the annual inflation rate, multiply this by the number of months in a year.
Holy Guacamole! that's a rate usually reserved for the most poorly managed banana republics. Sounds excessive? Sure. The government has been touting 3% annual for years.
The trick is to report the rate thusly:
"Excluding the highly volatile food, clothing, and shelter components, last months inflation was a modest 1.1%." Or words to that effect.
Except I don't know anyone who doesn't buy food, clothing, and shelter, which includes energy costs. You have to dig a bit to get the rest of the story:
Energy and food costs rose 18.7 percent against March 2009, up almost four percentage points compared with February.So last years number was right up there, no?
Wikipedia defines the Consumer Price Index, which is a prime component for calculating the inflation rate, as the average of price times weight:
The prices of 95,000 items from 22,000 stores, and 35,000 rental units are added together and averaged. They are weighted this way: Housing: 41.4%, Food and Beverage: 17.4%, Transport: 17.0%, Medical Care: 6.9%, Other: 6.9%, Apparel: 6.0%, Entertainment: 4.4%. Taxes (43%) are not included in CPI computation.Good thing taxes aren't included, eh?
Sunday, May 2, 2010
The Puerto Ricans have had statehood referendums in the past, and have rejected them, usually by reasonable margins. The reason for this is that P.R. enjoys many of the benefits, such as trade and welfare benefits, that states enjoy, but is free of a lot of federal meddling in the local affairs. Thus when the question is "Shall Puerto Rico petition for statehood?" the answer has always been "no".
The technique to be used this time is the sort of thing the Corlione family would love, and works like this. First the Puerto Ricians will be offered a choice. Shall our status regarding the U.S. remain the same, or shall we pursue something else? Phrased like this, the "something else" option has a great chance of passing. Should the "something else" option pass, another referendum will be presented, with only two options: Statehood or independence. An offer of statehood you can't easily refuse.
The administration fully expects that the six new Representatives and 2 new Senators will all have D's after their names, although with its current track record, that could turn out different.
Harrison killed one machine gunner with his first attempt and felled the other with his next shot. He then let off a final round to knock the enemy weapon out of action.Destroying their weapon at that distance is really rubbing their noses in it. The rifle manufacturer says that at that distance, luck begins to be a large factor, but hey, if you're on a roll...
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Not only did I enjoy great success hunting the wily wild bowling pins, I actually won the match.
The wife says I can keep the traveling trophy at least until next month when I'm under some sort of veiled threat to throw the next match, if necessary. I think it looks great over the fireplace.
I attribute my success to the use of a revolver, as Caleb recommends, and a stance that involves bending backwards. Say what you will, it puts my C.G. over my feet while holding a heavy gun out at arms length. I've seen pictures of myself doing this. It looks awful.
Brought the Hi Point 4095 along too. Several people tried it, and all seemed to like it. To date, zero jams or misfeeds. The biggest guys felt the stock was too short, so if you're over 6'4", you might want to add a butt extension. Consensus of opinion is that if the iron sights art to be replaced, a 1-4x scout scope with a wide aperture would be the top choice.